Dr. Edward Bennett,
Executive Director of the
GP Lens Institute
What Is the GPLI?
The GP Lens Institute (GPLI) is the educational division of the Contact Lens Manufacturers Association (CLMA). The GPLI is dedicated to providing practitioners with educational and practice-building resources to enable them to fully benefit from the many advantages of GP (oxygen permeable) and custom specialty soft contact lenses.
The RGPLI, renamed GPLI, was founded in the fall of 1985 when a small, independent group of practitioners and industry representatives met to discuss the need for GP education. Initially the Institute sponsored GP seminars at several professional meetings. From this modest beginning, the work of the GPLI has grown to also include an extensive schools workshop program, monthly online webinars, an array of educational and practice-building materials for practitioners, and a bimonthly newsletter, among other endeavors.
GPLI’s efforts are led by its Executive Director, Dr. Edward Bennett, an Assistant Dean and Co-Chief of the Contact Lens Clinic at the University of Missouri School of Optometry.
Who Is the Contact Lens Manufacturers Association?
The Contact Lens Manufacturers Association (CLMA) is the professional association of laboratories, material, solution and equipment manufacturers in the United States and abroad. Organized in 1961 the CLMA expanded its mission in 1985 to include the GPLI.
The mission of the CLMA is to increase awareness and utilization of custom manufactured contact lenses. The association has built a solid record of success in its work to strengthen its members’ impact on the shaping of vital national polices, laws and regulations that affect the contact lens industry. CLMA draws its strength and effectiveness from the very active direct participation of each of its member companies and from a small but thoroughly professional staff.
Objectives of the CLMA
Educate … eyecare professionals, the public and the industry about contact lens technology, features and benefits
Initiate … and support legislation beneficial to CLMA membership, practitioners and patients
Sponsor … and support research and development of quality contact lens materials
Suggest and Enforce … industry manufacturing standards
Participate … in seminars, conferences and congresses dealing with eye health care
Promote … the contact lens industry
As a condition of membership CLMA members agree it will be their policy to abide by the following code of ethics.
- To design and manufacture products of good quality that serve the needs of practitioners and their patients
- To present qualifications consistent with integrity and the highest standards of our industry and to scrupulously avoid any false, misleading and deceptive statement of advertising with respect to quality, construction or performance.
- To support and promote high standards of inspection, sampling, analysis, data, testing and consultation.
- To collect and disseminate information regarding contact lenses and accessories to the public (for the betterment of public health).
- To sponsor and promulgate research related to contact lenses and accessories in hospitals, clinics, colleges and universities and among other persons or institutions.
- To meet all applicable state, FDA and other national government regulations as related to the industry.
In addition to being of service to the eyecare industry, the members of the CLMA are also striving to be the best they can be. The CLMA hosts its own annual meeting and tradeshow every October. Here members can take educational classes as well as experience all the newest equipment and materials in the exhibit hall. Every 18 months the CLMA also sponsors an educational weekend for the lab consultants.
Members are also invited to participate in the Seal of Excellence program. The Seal of Excellence is a service provided to members who wish have their products tested by an independent party to ensure that their products meet ANSI Z890.2 tolerances.
Participation in the test for the Seal of Excellence is open to all CLMA members and is voluntary. Participants provide an independent survey firm with a list of practitioners. On behalf of these member participants, a selected number of practitioners, chosen at random are asked to take part in a double blind study. The study measures the parameters of contact lenses based on tolerances contained in ANSI Z890.2, Requirements for First-Quality, Rigid Contact Lenses. This study is a service provided to members who wish to take advantage of this quality assessment tool as a reaffirmation of the CLMA Code of Ethics and employ the results to encourage the use of GP contact lenses.
CLMA members who pass the test can display the Seal on their stationery and promotional materials.
For more information on membership to the CLMA please visit www.clma.net.